Configuring Motion Menu Settings

There are several parts of a standard menu that can include an asset with motion or a time setting:

A motion menu can have anywhere from one to all four of these motion items. The items it contains determine how they will interact.

About Motion Menu Playback

The Menu Editor contains a motion menu start/stop button.

Figure. Playback button of the Menu Editor.

Clicking the button starts motion menu playback. Clicking it a second time stops playback. You can also press Command-J to turn the playback on and off.

Unlike a similar button in iDVD, this button does not determine whether or not this menu is a motion menu. It only controls whether the motion menu plays while you are working on it. Once you add motion assets to a menu, it is a motion menu.

Note: Depending on your system and the number of motion items in the menu, motion menu playback may not be perfectly smooth in the Menu Editor. Once you build your project, playback will be perfect.

About the Motion Settings

The Menu Inspector’s General tab contains a section for configuring a menu’s start, end, loop, and duration times.

Figure. Motion menu settings of the General tab of the Menu Inspector.

You can drag the slider located under the thumbnail images of the background, click the arrow controls, or enter a timecode value for each of the entries. The way the Start, Loop Point, End, and Duration settings function depends on the type of assets assigned to the menu.

Start Setting

You can use the Start setting to set the video’s starting frame. By default, the start is set to the background video’s first frame. If there is audio assigned to the menu, its start time is also moved by the same number of frames as the video.

Note: If there are other motion assets assigned to buttons or drop zones, they are not affected by the change in start time.

When the menu’s background is a still image, the Start setting only affects the menu’s audio.

Loop Point

You can use the Loop Point setting to set a frame different from the starting frame to use when you choose Loop as the At End setting. By default, the Loop setting is the same as the Start setting. When you adjust the Loop setting, you are choosing the frame that is jumped to once the end frame is reached. This allows you to have a looping background with a beginning section—for example, a fade up from black or a transition from another menu—that only plays the first time through. If there is audio assigned to the menu, it automatically follows the video as it loops.

This setting also defines when the button highlights appear—the viewer cannot navigate the menu’s buttons until the loop point is reached. Additionally, the Loop Point setting controls the video used for the menu’s tile in the Graphical tab.

If you are creating your menu background video in an application such as Motion or Final Cut Pro, you can set a chapter marker named “MenuLoopPoint” to define the loop point. When you assign a menu’s background by dragging the video to the Menu Editor and choosing Set Background from the Drop Palette, or dragging the video to the Outline or Graphical tab, DVD Studio Pro checks to see if a chapter marker named “MenuLoopPoint” is present. If it is, the Loop Point setting is set to its time. If it is not present, the Loop Point setting is set to match the Start setting.

Note: When you assign the menu’s background using the Menu Inspector’s Background pop-up menu, you must manually set the Loop Point setting, even if the video contains a “MenuLoopPoint” chapter marker.

See Defining the Menu Loop Point for more information on setting the chapter markers.

About Jumping Directly to a Menu’s Loop Point

When you configure a motion menu with a loop point, you may find that, in some cases, you would prefer to jump directly to the loop point rather than to the start point. This is especially true if the menu has a long period between the start and loop points.

You can write a simple script that will allow you to jump to the loop point. When you select Jump as the command in the Script Inspector and choose a menu to jump to, a Start At Loop Point option becomes available. When selected, this option sets the jump to skip the start point and jump directly to the loop point. See Start At Loop Point Checkbox for more information, and Jumping to a Menu’s Loop Point for an example script.

End Setting

You can use the End setting to set the menu’s ending frame. By default, this is set to the value entered in the Menu pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences if the menu has any motion assets. You can adjust it to be shorter or longer. This is most useful when you do not want to use the entire video background asset—when used along with the Start setting, you can choose the specific part of the video to use.

  • When using the slider: Its maximum setting matches the length of the menu’s background video. If the background is a still image, the slider maximum setting matches the longest of the other menu assets (audio or assets assigned to buttons and drop zones).
  • When using the numeric timecode entry: You are able to choose any length.

When the end is reached during playback, either all assets stop and display their last frame as a still image (At End set to Still), or the playback jumps to the Loop, if available, or Start setting.

If any assets assigned to the menu reach their end before the menu reaches the End setting, they are looped back to their start to keep playing.

Duration Setting

You can use the Duration setting to set the menu’s duration. It is equal to the End setting minus the Start setting. If you enter a value, the End setting automatically updates.